Professor X wrote:
Does anybody know a sunscreen that isn’t going to make my hair too greasy?
Yes, it’s called “have black parents”. Buy one get one half off while supplies last.
UM research suggests blacks and Hispanics underestimate sun’s risks
By Nancy McVicar
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Health Writer
June 20, 2006
Andre Morisseau, 35, of West Palm Beach, was relaxing at the beach with a friend from Connecticut on Monday, but was not wearing any sunscreen.
“I never take precautions,” said Morisseau, who is black. “It’s something I don’t even think about, you know. Honestly, I’ve never gotten checked [for skin cancer.]”
A new health study out today suggests Morisseau may have plenty of company – and that’s troubling to skin-cancer specialists. The University of Miami study, published today in the Archives of Dermatology, found that blacks and Hispanics made up nearly one-third of melanoma cases between 1997 and 2002. Whites made up the majority.
What’s more, researchers said blacks and Hispanics were far more likely than whites to seek treatment for melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – only after it had already spread to other parts of the body.
The findings, researchers said, suggest many dark-skinned people may wrongly believe they are not at risk of developing skin cancer and therefore fail to take appropriate precautions in the sun.
Blacks and Hispanics have a lower risk of melanoma than whites, but they are not immune.
Because the highest incidence of the disease occurs in light-skinned people, many of the prevention and detection efforts have been aimed at them, and that might have helped increase survival rates from about 68 percent 30 years ago to about 92 percent today.
For the latest study, Miami researchers reviewed 1,690 South Florida cases of melanoma diagnosed over a five-year period, and found the majority – 69.5 percent – occurred in whites, 28.5 percent in Hispanics and 2 percent in blacks.
But in 31 percent of black patients and 16 percent of Hispanic patients, the melanoma had already spread to other parts of the body before diagnosis, compared with 9 percent for whites. The researchers said that when melanoma is caught early, survival rates are 98 percent, but if it has spread before it is discovered, survival rates plummet to 16 percent.
“Unfortunately, these populations are often excluded from the public health message regarding sun exposure,” said Dr. Robert Kirsner, vice chairman of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the UM Miller School of Medicine, who advocates spreading the word about the risks.
“And it’s not just patients who need to hear this, it’s also doctors. When someone [with darker skin] comes in with a changing mole, the doctor may not put melanoma at the top of the list of things to consider.”
Kirsner co-wrote a study two years ago that showed minorities in Sunbelt states such as Florida were more likely to develop melanoma than minorities in northern states. The study results may help to inform Hispanics and blacks about getting screened for skin cancer and also doing regular checks of their skin to look for moles that look suspicious, especially those that are asymmetrical, or that have changed over time.
Melanoma is diagnosed in about 60,000 Americans each year, and about 8,000 will die from it, according to the American Cancer Society. Florida, with about 4,600 cases diagnosed each year, is second only to California in melanoma incidence.
At Fort Lauderdale beach Monday, Bianca Moxey, 27, of Fort Lauderdale, was protecting her skin with sunscreen.
Moxey, who is Brazilian and works at a nearby Marriott hotel, said she sees families visiting from northern states who do not use enough protection and who have sun-blistered skin by the end of their vacations.
“No matter if you’re white, or black, or Hispanic, whatever – it doesn’t matter, you need 10 to 15 [SPF] sunblock,” she said.
Nancy McVicar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4593
Toni De Aztlan contributed to this report.
Copyright 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Well then how come I always see so many Mexicans “fully clothed” at the beach?